How to File LLC Articles of Organization in Wisconsin

Woman smiling while looking at her articles of organization for Wisconsin.

The Articles of Organization is the document you file with the state to register your Wisconsin LLC.

We will give you all the steps to successfully file your LLC Articles of Organization and officially form your limited liability company.

Get Help Filing Your Articles of Organization:

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Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!

diagram showing the steps for how to file the L L C Articles of Organization


 

Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms

You can download and mail in your Wisconsin Articles of Organization, or you can file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.

Get Your Wisconsin Articles of Organization

Option 1: Access the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ online services. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Click here to start filing.”

Access Online


OR


Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. This form will need to be mailed to the Department of Financial Institutions.

Download PDF


Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization

In this step, we will help you complete the Wisconsin Articles of Organization form. There are six main “Articles.”

You will need to know the following information to complete the form:

  1. Entity Name
  2. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  3. Governing Authority Type
  4. Organizer Information

Entity Name

Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.

When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:

  • meets Wisconsin naming guidelines. 
  • is not already in use by another business in Wisconsin. 

Follow the Wisconsin Naming Guidelines:

  • Your name must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited liability co.” or end with one of their abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot imply that the LLC was organized for any non-permitted purpose.
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Wisconsin reserved names. 

Check Name Availability:

Is your name available in Wisconsin? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website.

To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Wisconsin guide. 

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.

Register Your Domain Name:

We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Registered Agent and Registered Office

A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Wisconsin LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office. 

Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Wisconsin. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.

Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box.

To learn more about choosing a Wisconsin registered agent, read our How to Choose a Wisconsin Registered Agent guide.

To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.

Governing Authority 

You must state whether or not your LLC will have managers. If you do have managers, you must list each initial manager. If your LLC will be managed by its members, then you must list at least one member.

To learn everything you need to know about choosing your management structure, read our 

Management by Members or Managers guide.

Organizer Information 

You must provide the names and addresses of each organizer of the LLC.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Department of Financial Institutions. 

There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:

  • Complete the form online.
  • Submit a hard copy by mail.

File the Wisconsin Articles of Organization

Option 1: Access the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ online services. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Click here to start filing.” Then, fill in the required fields and submit.

File Online


OR


Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization to Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions.

Download PDF


State Filing Cost: $130 online, $170 by mail. 

Mail to: 

State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions

Box 93348

Milwaukee, WI 53293



Turnaround Time: Filings are generally processed within five days and can be expedited for an additional fee.

Steps After Your Wisconsin LLC Is Officially Formed

Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:

Create an Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.

In Wisconsin, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.

Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
For more information, read our Wisconsin LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.

You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.

Open a Business Bank Account

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.

For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our 5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs reviews on StartupSavant.com.

Get Licenses and Permits

When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:

Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits

Brand Your Business

The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.

Your business name is the cornerstone of good branding and a successful business. To learn more about creating the best name for your business, read our How to Name a Business guide.

Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.

Other Wisconsin LLC Resources

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